The third hope
When I awoke in the morning of old age from the sleep of the night of youth, I looked at myself and saw that my life was hurrying towards the grave as though speeding down a slope. As Niyazi Misri3 said,
Each day a stone from the building of my life falls to the ground;
The soul slumbers in heedlessness and is unaware that its building is in ruins!
my body, the dwelling of my spirit, was decaying, with a stone of it crumbling every day. Having felt this, the hopes and ambitions that had bound me strongly to the world began to be broken off. I felt that the time of separation from my many friends and those I loved was drawing near. I searched for an ointment for that very deep and apparently incurable spiritual wound, but I could find none. Again like Niyazi Misri I said:
While my heart desired permanence, God, the Truth, judged the mortality of my body;
I am afflicted with an incurable ill; how pitiful it is that Luqman is unaware of it!
Then suddenly the light and intercession of the glorious Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings, who is the voice, model, embodiment, herald, and representative of Divine Mercy, and the gift of guidance he had brought to humankind became a good ointment for that wound which I had supposed to be incurable.
Respected elderly men and women who feel their old age as I do! We are leaving; there is no use in deceiving ourselves. Even if we close our eyes to it, we will not be allowed to remain here. There is mobilization. The land of the Intermediate Realm of the grave, which appears to us as dark and as the land of eternal separation because of the delusions that arise from heedlessness and in part from the people of misguidance, is the meeting place of friends. It is the realm where we will meet with, foremost, God’s Beloved, upon him be peace and blessings, and with all our friends.
We are going to the world of the one who for one thousand three hundred and fifty years, has been the ruler of hundreds of millions of people, and the trainer of their spirits, the teacher of their minds, and the beloved of their hearts. According to the rule, “The cause is like the doer,” the equivalent of the merit that his whole Community gains every day through its good deeds is added to his notebook of good deeds. He is the means for the realization of the exalted Divine purposes in the universe and the increase of the value of beings. As recorded in authentic Traditions and discovered by saints of spiritual discovery, when he came into the world, he exclaimed, “My Community! My Community!”4 He will also hasten to the aid of his Community with the loftiest self-sacrifice and through his intercession when everyone will consider only themselves in the Place of Supreme Gathering in the other world, and again he will exclaim, “My Community! My Community!”5 We are going to a world that is illuminated by this sun and by the stars of countless saints and purified scholars.
The means of being entitled to that person’s intercession, profiting from his light, and being saved from the darkness of the Intermediate Realm is to follow his noble example or way (Sunna).
Bediuzzaman Said Nursi
3 Mehmet Niyazi Misri (1617–1694). He was born in Malatya, Turkey, and died in the island of Limni in the Agean Sea. He was a Sufi shaykh, poet, and scholar. Ilmihali Tariqat (“The Principles of the Sufi Way”), Mawadi al-‘Irfan (“The Tables of Esoteric Knowledge”), and Tevhid Risalesi (A Treatise of God’s Oneness”) are among his most famous works. (Tr.)
4 as-Suyuti, al-Khasa’is al-Kubra, 1:80, 85. (Tr.)
5 al-Bukhari, “Tawhid” 36; Muslim, “Iman” 326. (Tr.)